Here we go with the Single Game NFL DFS slate for Monday Night Football of Week 15. Today’s matchup is between the Steelers and Bengals with Pittsburgh checking in as a 14.5 point home favorite. The over/under currently rests at 40.5 total points. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 ET.
We’ll highlight the top picks and best bargains to assemble a cash-inducing lineup. On top of that, the “additional notes” section will feature several tournament selections while adding context to the rest of this slate.
We will be producing these articles for Thursday and Monday primetime matchups every week, so be sure to bookmark the Rotoworld Daily page for those occasions - not to mention all the other fantastic daily fantasy content.
Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh (DK: $11,800 / FD: $16,000)
It’s no secret that Big Ben headlines this slate. His projection outpaces every other player on this slate, and it’s not even close. Needless to say, he makes for an easy cash game choice at CPT or MVP. For tournaments, you can switch things up by looking towards a receiver in the top spot … Roethlisberger has been inefficient across his last three games, but facing Cincinnati presents a real bounce-back opportunity. The Steelers don’t have much of a running game at the moment (more on that later), so they’ll continue to rely on Ben’s arm to sustain drives (and score).
JuJu Smith-Schuster - Pittsburgh (DK: $10,000 / FD: $14,000)
The Steelers’ receiving corps has had a case of the “drops” lately, but Smith-Schuster hasn’t been the culprit. However, his low target depth raises some concern from a fantasy perspective. It’s nice that JuJu will flirt with double-digit targets almost every game, but he’ll probably need a touchdown to pay dividends. Luckily, the matchup at Cincinnati is a good one, and the lower-than-usual opportunity cost has us looking his way through all formats of this single-game slate.
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James Washington - WR - Pittsburgh (DK: $4,400 / FD: $7,500)
Washington has secured two touchdowns over his last pair of games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw a few more snaps. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said that he wasn’t going to limit Diontae Johnson after dropping numerous passes in recent weeks, but Washington has probably earned a few more looks after proving himself reliable as of late. Washington is essentially the inverse of Smith-Schuster, where he’ll see five or fewer targets, but the quality of those looks (downfield or red-zone) certainly helps. All in all, Washington is a nice value filler on both sites.
Chris Boswell - K - Pittsburgh (DK: $4,000 / FD: $9,000)
This game has a remarkably low 40.5 over/under. The Steelers’ running game has been terrible, which could lead to several stalled drives in the red-zone. That puts Chris Boswell on the map as a legitimate fantasy value on this single-game slate. He has recorded double-digit fantasy points in two of his last four outings, and I would be surprised if he doesn’t top that mark tonight.
Ryan Finley (QB - CIN) is a better play on FanDuel than DraftKings, as the full PPR scoring on DK has me looking towards receivers over him. The matchup is terrible vs. an angry Pittsburgh team that excels at pressuring the QB. Even on FanDuel, he’s probably a better tournament play than trustworthy cash choice.
Tyler Boyd (WR - CIN), Tee Higgins (WR - CIN), and the other Cincinnati pass-catchers will see a slight downgrade with Finley at QB. Still, Higgins catches my eye as a decent mid-range pick, especially on DK. He has seen eight or more targets in five of his last six games, and the Bengals will probably need to throw the ball in order to have a chance tonight.
The Steelers Defense will be extremely popular in this dream matchup against Finley and the depleted Cincinnati offense. I don’t usually like to roster defenses, especially for $7,300 on DK. They usually need an unpredictable touchdown to meet value. I’m probably going to look elsewhere (even in tournaments), as Pittsburgh’s defense will likely be over-owned tonight. I certainly won’t dissuade anyone who wants to play the Steelers’ D here, but my personal preference leans towards a fade.
Diontae Johnson (WR - PIT) and Chase Claypool (WR - PIT) have struggled in recent weeks. Johnson is a potential bounce-back candidate in tournaments, as fewer people will look towards him (and his expensive salary) after the benching last week. However, Coach Tomlin says Johnson has a clean slate, and he’ll probably be motivated to prove his worth.
Eric Ebron (TE - PIT) is an interesting pick through all formats. I really like his $8.5k salary on FanDuel, and the matchup looks good - as Cincinnati has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
The Pittsburgh RB situation is a mess. James Conner (RB - PIT) is questionable. If he plays, you can probably avoid the entire Steelers’ backfield outside of rolling the dice in tournaments. If Conner sits, Benny Snell (RB - PIT) and Jaylen Samuels (RB - PIT) become GPP options. Even though Snell has been disappointing in the starting role recently, the game flow would give him plenty of chances to bounce-back if Conner doesn’t play.
Samaje Perine (RB - CIN) is a dirt-cheap tournament option for $1.4k on DraftKings. He had 12 touches against the Cowboys last week, coming through with 41 yards. With Joe Mixon out and Giovani Bernard clearly not getting the job done, Perine could continue to see respectable opportunities, and you’d like to think he’ll get the goal-line looks over Bernard. After all, Perine is 5’11” and 240 lbs.